Australia’s response to HIV and AIDS has been one of the most successful in the world. It is a remarkable part of Australia’s history where both sides of government, led by at-risk communities, changed social attitudes and implemented public health campaigns that saved thousands of lives.
These campaigns emerged from the grassroots, rather than from the top-down, and spoke directly to those most at risk. The focus was on prevention at a time when a positive diagnosis was a death sentence. It would be over a decade before developments in drug therapy finally started to make a real impact on the ferocity of the disease.
This display tells the Australian HIV and AIDS story.
Footage of the opening of HIV and AIDS 30 years on: the Australian story.
Bill Whittaker was president of the Sydney Mardi Gras at the height of the AIDS crisis in Australia. He has worked in HIV policy for 30 years.
Bill Whittaker talks about new scientific breakthroughs and better treatments that should drive down the infection rate and hopefully eliminate new cases of HIV/AIDS.
The Fitpack is a compact container for syringes designed by Ruth McDermott to reduce the spread of HIV infection.